School Accessibility. An Overview for Professionals and Newcomers Griff Campbell Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Delaware Department of Labor Michael Gamel-McCormick Center for Disabilities Studies University of Delaware. What will we cover today?. Legislative background
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An Overview for Professionals and Newcomers
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Delaware Department of Labor
Center for Disabilities Studies
University of Delaware
Architectural Barriers Act (1968)—first substantial federal law requiring accessibility to all buildings and facilities financed with federal funds (which includes most school buildings); requires access to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds after 1968; requires buildings and facilities covered by the law meet accessibility standards.
Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards cover walks, ramps, curb ramps, entrances, elevators, and rest rooms; indicate how many of a certain item, such as accessible parking spaces, are required, where they must be located, and how they must be built or installed so they can be used by everyone; given structural constraints, it was difficult to retrofit buildings to attain compliance with the law.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (1977)—addendum to the Rehab Act; landmark ruling contains the strongest legislative language requiring all new construction and newly-altered facilities to be accessible; all postsecondary institutions receiving federal funds must provide individuals with disabilities accessibility to programs and activities.
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)—the most wide-ranging and specific law for accessibility; expands legislation to apply to all public and commercial facilities; provides precise and extensive definitions of reasonable accommodations; the ADA Accessibility Guidelines standardized accessibility definitions for such items as door frame widths, ramp elevations and turning radiuses, elevator dimensions, handrail heights, Braille signs, and many other architectural elements.